Most of the time, resume coaches and job search advisors hold a clear position on the issue of buzzwords: Don’t use them. Buzzwords are meaningless, inflated terms that don’t usually relate to any specific industry, but still have the power to mesmerize readers (presumably) because of their vague, business-sounding prefixes and suffixes. Buzzwords tend to include combinations of other words and descriptors taken from hot topics in generic branding, sales, and marketing circles. A few examples: systematize, synergy, paradigm, paradigmatic, horizontal, single-solution, solution-provider, change-driver, and any other terms that evoke popular themes like mobility, flexibility, cooperation, unity, growth, progress, and success. As it happens, not all hollow terms are poised to hold your resume back, and some of them can actually help you land the job you’re looking for. As with every decision in the modern working world, the difference will depend on the context. Here are a few situations in which buzzwords may be the right move for you.
Buzz Versus Industry Jargon
Some fluffy buzzwords aren’t fluff at all they’re central players in any focused conversation within your specific industry. If you’re looking for a job in IT, using the right terminology can open doors and reflect your status as a seasoned expert. The same applies to healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, and many other fields.
Backing Fluff With Facts
Feel free to use hollow business terms if you can immediately back up your claims with quantifiable facts. For example, go ahead and call yourself a change-driver if you can immediately provide proof that you’ve spearheaded measurable organizational improvements for your previous employers. Place yourself on the forefront of the Cloud Computing revolution if you actually hold Microsoft SQL certification or can present evidence of real cloud computing experience.
If you decide that buzz terminology is just too hard to resist, you like the way it sounds, and you’re sure that your carefully selected terms can help you gain an edge, go forward, but use this language sparingly. Break up every buzzword-dense sentence with another that’s a little more grounded. Use our simple Resume Builder to take your resume to the next level.